A LONG-SERVING Inverclyde councillor is being hauled up in front of local government watchdogs over several allegations of misconduct.

Ciano Rebecchi, who earlier this year celebrated three decades as an elected member, will appear in front of the Standards Commission for Scotland later this month after being accused of a series of breaches of the councillors' code of conduct.

Mr Rebecchi has been reported by a member of the public for allegedly failing to declare a non-financial interest - or that of a close relative, friend or associate - in an item which was brought before the local planning board in December.

It is understood the complaint relates to a controversial application over the installation of new machinery at Gourock frozen foods business, Donald's Cream Ices.

The ward six councillor has been accused of failing to disclose an interest in the matter 'despite having a long-standing, close friendship with the family involved'.

According to the minutes of the meeting, Mr Rebecchi, who is a member of the planning board, was present at the meeting, voted in favour of the application and there were no declarations of interest made.

The Greenock councillor declined to comment on the nature of the allegations but says he will fight tooth and nail to clear his name.

Mr Rebecchi said: "I will be defending my case.

"I accept there's procedures but there's circumstances as well."

It is understood to be the first time Mr Rebecchi, who served as provost from 2003-07, has been reported to the Standards Commission since being elected in 1988.

The councillor, who represents Larkfield, Braeside, Branchton and surrounding areas, has been accused of breaching five elements of the code of conduct.

The Donald's Cream Ices planning application, in relation to the installation of new ventilation equipment at the rear of the Tarbet Street building, was made in retrospect with the work having already been carried out.

There were 11 objections, including one from Gourock Community Council, for a variety of reasons, such as the noise coming from the machinery.

The application was approved by councillors by a vote of 8-2.

Mr Rebecchi will face a hearing on September 21 in the Council Chambers, Greenock, at 9.30am and it is open to the public.